Book: The First - Part: One - Chapter: 5 - Installment: ii

Tanya Meyers looked as bad as any woman waiting on bad news that Edmond had ever seen. She looked exhausted and probably had been drinking. 
At her best she must be pretty. Hell, at half her best she must be pretty.
“Sorry to disturb you Mrs. Meyers.” Shale greeted the tired looking woman. “This is Detective Lieutenant Edmond.”
“What is it?” she forced out, her worst fears evident in her subtext.
Scott took responsibility for the bad news.
“Mrs. Meyers, I’m sorry…”
She stifled a shuddering breath.
“What happened to him?”
“We’re still trying to figure that out. The circumstances are… unique.”
“What does that mean?” She begged for understanding.
“We’re hoping you can answer some questions. Right now we are quite uncertain about exactly what transpired ourselves. We’re looking for anything that might shed some light on the situation. To be perfectly honest – and not to give you any false hope – we’re merely confident that it is your husband we’ve found… although we’re quite certain.”
“Please don’t ask me to identify the body.”
“That won’t happen. I promise. May we come in?”
“I’m sorry. Please.” Tanya Meyers stepped away from the door, giving the two officers room to enter her home.
The only light was coming from the stairs to the upper-half of the split-level. Some children’s voices faintly trickled down, competing with the sound of a television set in the living room to his left.
“Go on in. Make yourself comfortable.”
Scott could barely see where he was stepping, but it wasn’t necessary, the house’s design was classic. He’d made countless visits just like this one to houses exactly like it. In fact, he’d grown up in a house which doubtlessly had the exact same cookie-cutter lay-out.
I’m sure I could find the bathroom with my eyes closed, I don’t need light to find my way in the door.
Scott and Shale took seats in the two arm chairs in the living room – it was obvious in the limited glow of the television that Tanya had taken station on the couch in her convalescence. A blanket was spread out on it and a cup of tea still steamed in front of a well compressed cushion.
“Can I get you some tea?” She offered.
“No thank you.” Both Detectives agreed in unison.
‘Like having a partner.’ Thought Scott. Pretty soon we’ll be just like an old married couple.
Tanya sat as expected on the crushed cushion of the couch, and pressed ‘mute’ on the remote, cutting short a news item about the latest threat to travelers: the most recent illness to hit the WHO etiological watch list.
Edmond pulled out his notepad. He could barely see the lines on the page.
“Do you mind if we put on a light?”
“If you have to. I’ve been crying so much, my eyes are hurting an awful lot.”
“I’ll make do.” He tilted the pad towards the glow of the television. It gave nominal light.
Lousy. But the lady just lost her husband.
“Mrs. Meyers, can you tell me, was there anything unusual about your husband’s behaviour in the period before his disappearance.”
“Well, I told Detective Shale Jeremy was sick. He’d spent about a week home from work. It had been getting worse. In the last few days he never left our room. Spent most of the time in bed. The night he disappeared, he wasn’t making any sense. He kept saying he was hungry, but he wouldn’t eat.”
“So you took him to the hospital.”
“I told Detective Shale all about this.”
“I’m sorry, Mrs. Meyers. We’re just trying to put this all together.”
“Can I ask, what happened to him?”
“Mrs. Meyers, it’s important to remember that we’re not entirely certain…”
“It was him. Don’t try to ease things for me. It was Jeremy. You know it. I can tell, you’re certain.”
“Well, yes. In a forensic sense, we’re not positive, but yes, I’m confident that it was him.”
“So, what happened to him?” Her tone didn’t leave much room for interpretation as a question so much as a command.
“We’ve got a jogger who claims he attacked her, and she killed him with a rock. But we have our doubts. We think he was already dead.”
“Then how could he be attacking her?”
“Like I said, it’s complicated.”
A voice from the hall interrupted their flow. “Mommy?”
“Yes, dear?”
“Who are you talking to?”
“There are some police men here, Carly.”
“Can we meet them?”
Tanya Meyers turned to Edmond and Shale.
“Of course.” Shale.
Two young children entered the room.
“Hi sweetie.” Tanya said to the smaller one. “Come here, give Mommy a hug.”
The child shook it’s head.
Exerting independence. Thought Edmond. I remember when Janne was that young. The older one must be Janne’s age.
“Christopher, come to Mommy, please. Mommy can really use a hug.”
The boy worked his way across the room deliberately, but making a point of taking his time. Tanya took him into her arms, laying her head against his tiny neck.
“There’s a good…” She got no further. The tears that she’d been holding back finally came.
“Don’t cry Mommy.” Said the young girl, joining the other two, wrapping her arms around the other two as best she could. “Don’t cry.”
This shit always makes me feel like an asshole. Thought Edmond. Can’t leave. Hate to stay.
Shale and Edmond were forced to sit while Carly Meyers tried to comfort her Mother, not knowing or understanding why she was so distraught, or that the reasons would affect the course of her young life.
With some effort, Tanya Meyers regained enough of her composure to speak again. She looked across the darkness at the two police officers.
“Carly, sweetie, you remember Detective Shale, and this is his partner Detective Edmond. Go say ‘hi.’”
“Okay, but don’t cry without me.”
A small hiccough of laughter came from Tanya.
From the mouths of babes. Thought Edmond.
“Okay dear, I’ll be fine.” Tanya promised her daughter, while she kept a near death-lock on her younger child, her own tears trickling down the skin of his neck, glistening in the half-light of the television.
“I’m Carly.” Carly said, offering her hand in a precocious manner that indicated that she knew this was the ‘adult’ way to present herself.
Edmond took her small hand in his hand and shook it gently.
“I’m Lieutenant Edmond. But you can call me Scott.”
“You’re a police man.” It wasn’t really a question.
“Yes, I am.”
“But you don’t wear an policeman-suit.”
“Uniform. We call them uniforms.”
“You don’t wear a uniform.”
“No. I’m a Detective. We don’t wear uniforms.”
“So you aren’t a real policeman.”
Shale chuckled. Edmond shot him a reprimanding look.
“How old are you Carly?” Edmond redirected the conversation.
“My daughter is seven too.”
“Why don’t you wear a real uniform?”
“That’s a good question. I don’t know. It’s just the way it works when you are a detective. I guess we don’t frighten people as much.”
“Real policemen aren’t scary. They help people.”
“That’s right. I do have a badge though.”
He pulled out his badge and showed it to her.
“See. Just like a real policeman.”
“Yeah, right.” Carly said, in an over emphasized practice of sarcasm.
“Carly, be nice.” Tanya croaked out through her tear soaked throat.
Shale took the opportunity to break into the conversation. “Mrs. Meyers, you need some time with your family. We can come back.”
Edmond pulled a card out of his wallet and handed it to Carly.
“Carly, make sure to give this to your Mom for me? Mrs. Meyers, my number is on that card. I’ll call again in a day or two, but don’t be afraid to call me, okay?”
“I’m sorry I’m not in a better…”
“It’s alright. We’re just trying to fill in some holes.”
Carly took the card from Edmond and looked up at him. The motion of the images on the television set reflected in her eyes, making them twinkle at him. He smiled. She smiled back, and the two officers saw themselves out the door.

Chapter 6

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Necropolis by Kennedy Goodkey is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada License.
Based on a work at necropolisnovels.blogspot.com.